Andy Murray’s Wimbledon comeback ended in the third round on Friday with a straight-sets defeat by Denis Shapovalov.
He had won back-to-back matches at a grand slam for the first time since his hip problems started in 2017.
The two-time Wimbledon champion therefore had Centre Court dreaming of home glories once again.
But 10th seed Shapovalov was a step up from Nikoloz Basilashvili and Oscar Otte.
Murray was comfortably beaten 4-6 2-6 2-6 to complete a miserable day for British players on Centre Court following Dan Evans’ loss to Sebastian Korda.
That means Cameron Norrie, who takes on Roger Federer on Saturday, is once again flying the British flag solo for the men.
Emma Raducanu is the only home woman left in the singles draw.
Murray spoke after his five-set win over Otte on Wednesday about how slippery he had found Centre Court.
He changed his shoes after falling twice in the opening two games here.
But extra grip did not translate to any kind of hold on the match, though.
Shapovalov drove vicious groundstrokes deep into the court, exploiting his opponent’s lack of weight of shot, to move into a 5-1 lead.
From there Murray mounted a comeback, hitting through the ball better.
He put doubt in the mind of Shapovalov, who missed one chance to serve it out and then found himself under intense pressure the second time.
Murray had three chances to get back to 5-5 but the 22-year-old Canadian held firm each time, saving the third with a superb stop volley.
The Canadian won the junior title at the All England Club in 2016, the same year Murray lifted the men’s trophy for the second time.
The momentum going into the second set appeared to favour Murray but again he made a bad start, dropping serve with a double-fault and then going a double break down.
Murray tried to stage another comeback but Shapovalov, who fell over numerous times on the slick surface, saved a succession of break-points at 1-4.
He had no problems serving out the set this time.
That was the cue for the closing of the roof, which had been the catalyst for Murray to turn things around against Basilashvili and Otte.
But it was a very different story this time, with Shapovalov racing through the third set to set up a fourth-round clash against eighth seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
“What he’s done nobody’s ever done and he’s an inspiration to lots of people, including me,” Shapovalov said in praise of Murray.
“I told him at the net that he’s my hero. Achievements aside, what he’s been able to do in the sport, to come back with an injury like this, play the tennis he’s playing.”(dpa/NAN)
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Source: Nigerian Newspapers Online